Would-be Miami MLS owner David Beckham has finally dropped some hints about where his expansion team would play, at least in the short term, touring Marlins Park yesterday and telling Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez that Florida International University’s football stadium is under consideration as well.
Neither is really ideal: Marlins Park is configured for baseball, not soccer, and scheduling would be complicated given that the MLS and MLB seasons overlap. (Though the new New York City F.C. team is likely to share the Yankees‘ stadium at first; plus, in Miami even if they played both sports simultaneously, it’s not like there would be any baseball fans to get in the way.) FIU Stadium is the right size (20,000 seats) and has hosted soccer before, but has been rejected by MLS as a permanent solution because … actually, I’m not sure why. Because it’s not soccer-only? Because it’s too far from downtown Miami? Too close to Jose Canseco Street? Your guess is as good as mine.
Anyway, Beckham is planning to submit his application for an expansion franchise by the end of the year, and given that his last player contract included an option to get a team, it’s unlikely the league will turn him down, whatever his stadium situation. Though it’s likely you’ll see commissioner Don Garber rattle some sabers about how Miami’s new team won’t survive, can’t be successful, will succumb to a plague of locusts, etc., if Beckham isn’t gifted with a soccer-only stadium like the kids down the road. That’s the kind of threat that any new sports team owner would welcome.